LANCASTER, PA - Seacoast United sent 8 teams to the Region 1 Championships in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this weekend as part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series (NCS). The teams qualified by winning the New Hampshire State Cup competition on June 5th. In total, Seacoast United is represented by 18 teams at the Region I Championships, 8 from New Hampshire and 10 from Maine.
Region I Championships: Sunday, July 3rd
Heading into Sunday’s games, Seacoast United had 4 teams in position to advance out of their brackets to their respective semi-final matches on Monday. Those teams were: U12 Girls, U12 Boys, U13 Boys and U16 Girls.
After two games, both the U12 Boys and Girls had won both matches and sat at the top of their group. The competition they faced were completely different. The boys drew two wildcard teams from West Virginia and Vermont, and won the games by a combined score of 21-0. The girls’ had advanced out of the group regardless of the 3rd game’s outcome due to the standings after Saturday, as they had beaten both NY West and Pennsylvania East.
The U13 boys sat at the top of their bracket at 2-0, and faced Virginia today who also had the same record but held the advantage both in goals scored and goals allowed. The 13’s needed a win today in order to advance. The U16 girls found themselves in the same situation as the 13 boys, needing a win today against Massachusetts to take first in their bracket.
Today’s games began with the U12 girls facing the wild card from Rhode Island (South County Soccer Club) at 8am. The two teams had faced each other once before, in Nashua last October over Columbus Day weekend. In that tournament, South County had defeated Seacoast to eliminate them from the Columbus Day Tournament playoffs by a score of 2-1. The roles were reversed today. Seacoast scored roughly 10 minutes in on a breakaway goal from Seana Gosselin after beating two defenders on the dribble to take a 1-0 lead. Coming out of the half, RI equalized on a breakaway themselves. Seacoast capitalized on a free kick once again by Kaidyn Ash just 10 minutes later and held on to secure the 2-1 victory and finish 3-0 after preliminary bracket play. Seacoast United now faces Virginia (Richmond Kickers) in the semifinal match on Monday morning at 8am.
Next up were the U12 boys at 11:45am against a very technical squad from Virginia. The two teams in this game had combined for a total of 49 goals for and 0 allowed over each of the teams’ two games. Seacoast United goalkeeper Eric Roderick was tested early, and he responded with three huge saves in the opening minutes to keep the game scoreless. The teams traded scoring chances, however the majority of the game took place in the middle of the field. Seacoast saw two great opportunities just at the end of the half but couldn’t find the goal as the teams entered halftime scoreless. In the 2nd half, the Seacoast defense shut down the strikers of Virginia, whose only real threats occurred off of corner kicks. Seacoast nearly broke through off a bending free kick served in by Jacob Gould, but the ball just missed the far post. The match ended scoreless for these two high powered offenses, but to determine the group winner, Region I officials needed to go to the tiebreaker rules. The teams were so evenly matched with their records, officials had to go to the 5th tiebreaker: Penalty Kicks.
The boys matched up perfectly, alternating turns and scoring on each of them. After 5 rounds, tied 5-5. As they progressed to the 8th rounds, the goalkeepers scored on one another. Penalties had to go through the 8-man roster a second time around, and it got as far as the 14th round before someone made a mistake. Virginia’s shot sailed wide, which meant that Seacoast only needed to score to be declared the winner of Group A. Mark Lacroix calmly placed the ball into the left hand side of the net and Seacoast won on penalties 14-13. Seacoast United’s U12 boys will face Group C winner Vermont (Nordic Soccer Club) at 9:45am on Monday morning.
The U16 girls kicked off at 9:45am against Massachusetts (Scorpions SC), who are the defending Region I champions from last year’s tournament. The teams had faced each other in the past, but the girls from Massachusetts had come away as the winner each time in close matches. Scorpions jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Seacoast was able to come back to within 1, but in an attempt to press forward to equalize, gave up two goals late in the game and fell 4-1.
The U13 boys kicked off at 2:20 this afternoon against a very talented state champion from Virginia. The boys were caught in the back early on and gave up an unfortunate goal in the first 5 minutes, giving them quite the up-hill climb from that point. Suffering injuries to key players during the match, the boys were forced to shuffle their positions for almost the entire 2nd half. In the end, Virginia advanced with an 8-0 victory.
In addition to both U12 teams from New Hampshire advancing to the semi-finals, Seacoast United Maine’s U12 boys and U19 boys also advanced out of their brackets to play games on Monday. Seacoast United Maine will face the Virginia squad who battled NH’s U12’s to penalties this afternoon, and the 19s will play Pennsylvania East (Lower Marion Velez).
Day 3 Results:
|U12 Boys**||BRYA ’98 Elite (VA)||T 0-0*|
|U12 Girls**||South County (RI Wildcard)||W 2-1|
|U13 Boys||Arlington (VA)||L 8-0|
|U14 Girls||PWSI Courage ’96 Red||T 1-1|
|U15 Girls||East Meadow Sparks (NY-E)||T 2-2|
|U16 Girls||Scorpions (MA)||L 4-1|
|U17 Girls||Seacoast United Maine (ME)||T 2-2|
|U18 Girls||Jersey United Thunderbolts (NJ)||L 3-0|
*: Went to Penalty Kicks to determine group winner, Seacoast United wins 14-13.
**: Team won bracket and advances to semi-final match on Monday, July 4th.
Day 2 Results: Saturday, July 2nd
|U12 Boys||Capital SC U12 Boys (VT)||W 9-0|
|U12 Girls||WVSC ’98 Girls (PA-E)||W 4-1|
|U13 Boys||Nordic (VT)||W 2-0|
|U14 Girls||WVSC Arsenal (WV)||L 2-1|
|U15 Girls||SAC United Premier (MD)||L 1-0|
|U16 Girls||VSA Heat Blue (VA)||W 4-2|
|U17 Girls||PDA (NJ)||L 1-0|
|U18 Girls||McLean Azul (VA)||L 4-0|
Festivities began on Thursday, June 30th when all participating teams took part in the Parade of States at Hershey Park Stadium. The Seacoast United U12 Boys had the honor of carrying the New Hampshire state flag as well as the New Hampshire Soccer Association sign as all teams representing the Granite State were announced.
Preliminary games began Friday morning. Seacoast’s first game of the day had the U12 girls matched up against New York West. In a tough battle where the girls had difficulty creating much offensive pressure, Seacoast was able to capitalize on a free kick awarded roughly 10 yards outside the penalty area when Kaidyn Ash drilled a laser of a shot into the upper left hand corner in the 50th minute. Seacoast held on to defeat New York West 1-0.
The U13 Boys followed, where they jumped on several early opportunities and went into the half with a 4-0 lead against Delaware. With full control of the 2nd half, the boys went on to secure the 5-1 victory.
Next up were the U12 boys, in a pairing against the wildcard from West Virginia. In an offensive explosion, Seacoast held a 5-0 lead after just 12 minutes of play. Jacob Gould headed the offensive effort with four goals on the day. Cole Schmidt played brilliantly in the midfield and Seacoast walked away with a 12-0 win.
Below is the full table of results for the 8 Seacoast United teams from Day 1, Friday July 1st:
|U12 Boys||WVUSC Revolution (WV)||W 12-0|
|U12 Girls||Empire United (NY-W)||W 1-0|
|U13 Boys||CDSA Fire (DE)||W 5-1|
|U14 Girls||PWSI Courage Red (VA)||L 2-0|
|U15 Girls||East Meadow Sparks (NY-E)||T 2-2|
|U16 Girls||Hockessin Freedom (DE)||W 8-0|
|U17 Girls||Buffalo SA Invaders (NY-W)||L 4-3|
|U18 Girls||CFC United (CT)||L 4-0|
Teams will play in a single match each day through Sunday. For teams that advance to the semi-finals and finals, those games take place on Monday/Tuesday July 4th and 5th.
Follow the Region I Championships online here.